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Grizzlies Insider on 3-2 Shootout Loss

Sunday, January 5th
Grizzlies Insider on 3-2 Shootout Loss

Of the myriad of impressive statistics the Utah Grizzlies have accrued during their six game winning streak, perhaps none is more impressive than this: outscoring opponents 13-1 in the third period. The Grizzlies would need to rely upon that and some late game heroics against the Rapid City Rush. Trailing 2-1 with 20 minutes of hockey remaining, Utah forward Ty Lewis would improve upon that stat, sending the game into overtime. However, despite the overwhelming presence in Rapid City’s defensive zone in the extra session, the Grizzlies weren’t able to score. And unfortunately for the Grizzlies, they couldn’t get a puck past Alex Sakellarapoulous in the shootout as well. The Rush two attempts were successful as Rapid City ultimately skated to a 3-2 victory.

“We’re still on a hot streak and you’re not going to win every game,” head coach Tim Branham said. “We had a million scoring chances and their goalie wanted it pretty bad. We had a bunch of breakaways that weren’t successful. But ultimately we have a character group that wants to win and we were still able to get a point.”

The Grizzlies managed to dig themselves into a hole with a pair of turnovers that led to two unassisted Rapid City goals and a 2-0 lead. Both Brennan Saulnier and Tyler Coulter scooped up errant pucks and fired past an exposed goaltender in Martin Ouellette for a 2-0 Rush lead.

Utah was putting a considerable amount of pressue on Sakellarapoulos but didn’t have anything to show for it until Joe Wegwerth got the home team on the board to cut the deficit to 2-1 with a blistering shot. Needless to say, Sakellarapoulos looked much better than a goalie that entered Saturday night’s contest with a record of 2-7, holding the Grizzlies potent offense in check.

With the acquisition of the one point, Utah has now obtained standings points in 14 of its’ last 15 contests. So to say that the Grizzlies aren’t still riding a hot streak would be erroneous as Utah looks to win the rubber match of the three game series Sunday afternoon.

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